WATER AND FIRE FEATURES
Living around and enjoying your water feature(s) will become a cherished time for your family. The sound of the water and the beauty of it can have a transforming effect.
To help maintain the beauty of your water garden, there are several things you will need to do.
Our goal is to create an ecosystem that is largely maintenance free. We install, where possible, an auto fill valve that automatically monitors and adjusts the water level. Each system operates by recirulating water from the top to the bottom. This recirculation creates oxygen and does not allow for stagnation. With evaporation and splashing, small amounts of water are lost and the auto fill valve keeps the proper levels.
Throughout the year, as the weather changes, ponds tend to experience algae blooms. This is a natural occurrence any time water and heat exist. Algae will be found in any natural pond and is part of the ecosystem. If the algae begins to get out of hand, it can be easily treated. Take a tablespoon of Clorox and put it in the water. This should begin to dissolve the algae. Several applications may be needed to bring it back in balance.
For those who have fish or plant material in the pond, you will want to use a fish/plant friendly product. Most of these products are granular and will be applied to the surface of the pond. You will find that certain products control different situations: EcoBlast is a good product for getting algae under control, SAB (String Algae Buster) is a good product to reduce the string algae growth and so on. You will want to take some time and get educated about your pond and what you can do to keep it clean and healthy.
The biggest variable is ensuring that you create and maintain a natural ecosystem. This means that the system needs to run 24/7 and that the conditions we have talked about are monitored. For those of you with a pondless system, many of these maintenance issues do not apply.
As debris enters the pond, it will float into the skimmer box or settle to the bottom. Where possible, especially in areas where there are many trees, try and keep the pond clean and the debris out. Twigs, paper, garbage and plastic bags, if not removed, will get stuck in the impeller on the pump and plug or block it. A weekly check is usually all that is needed (do it when you mow the lawn) to keep it clean.
We encourage children to be around the pond. If they are not supervised, children and animals tend to disrupt the rocks that we have placed in the pond and around the edges. Sometimes the liner is exposed and other times the characteristics of the waterfall change. These are easily fixed- simply put the rock back in place. Most of the rocks are set in without mortar to create a naturalistic look.
As winter rolls around, you can either keep the system running or shut it down. If you want to keep it running, no damage will result. You WILL need to use a hose to manually fill the pond because the Auto Fill Valve will not work since it is connected to the sprinkler system. You should check the level once a week. The combination of running water with snow and ice is often breathtaking. Should you choose to shut it down, simply disconnect the power and leave the pump in the pond.
In the spring, you can clean the pond or drain it, and then start it up again to enjoy another season.
Fire features are a fantastic focal point for any landscape area. They create visual interest and provide the perfect counterpoint to water features, ponds and swimming pools.
One of the most popular options for a fire features is the fire pit. Built as a raised structure form either brick or stone the fire pit provides a central point for a sitting or dining area.
Ideally the fire pit is connected to the natural gas supply. This means the size of the flames can be controlled via a Dante valve and there is no need for messy clean ups as required with a wood burning pit. The flame is created by a customized stainless steel burner which is covered over with glass or stone pebbles.
A fire feature is a less formal version of a fire pit. It can be incorporated into a garden or as part of a water feature. A fire feature can be built into a bowl, a garden area or from natural stone. A fire feature is less of a gathering place and more of an interesting element of the overall design.